Today, I came across this article written by a hospice nurse on the top five regrets she heard her patients express about life, now that they knew they were dying. I believe the most important part of reading this was what wasn’t mentioned among the patients. None of the things on the list were “I wish I had been thinner”, or “I wish I had been richer”, or “I wish I’d been more popular”.
Hopefully, I am a long ways from dying, but reading this, I was struck by a few passages, namely:
Many people suppressed their feelings in order to keep peace with others. As a result, they settled for a mediocre existence and never became who they were truly capable of becoming. Many developed illnesses relating to the bitterness and resentment they carried as a result.
The so-called ‘comfort’ of familiarity overflowed into their emotions, as well as their physical lives. Fear of change had them pretending to others, and to their selves, that they were content. When deep within, they longed to laugh properly and have sillyness in their life again.
When you are on your deathbed, what others think of you is a long way from your mind. How wonderful to be able to let go and smile again,long before you are dying.